20 August 2021

What is the Week of Action on Human Rights?

From 10-17 October 2021, the British Institute of Human Rights and other organisations including Amnesty International UK, Liberty and Freedom from Torture are holding a Week of Action on Human Rights in the UK.

One of the key things we are asking people to do during this week of action is to meet with their MPs in their local constituencies to show how much we care about human rights. We want to ask our MPs, the elected politicians who represent us, to protect our rights. 

Why is the Week of Action on Human Rights needed?

The Week of Action needs to happen because the UK government is attempting to change the law in a number of ways which could undermine our human rights as well as our ability to challenge decisions or actions that breach our rights.

There are several Bills (draft laws) progressing through parliament which could undermine our human rights in the UK.  These Bills propose new laws or changes to laws we already have. This includes the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill (also known as the “Anti-Refugee Bill”) , and the Judicial Review and Courts Bill. We tell you below where you can find more information about these Bills. Some of these Bills will have different impacts in the devolved nations of the UK.

In addition to these proposed new laws, the Human Rights Act itself is being reviewed. This is the main law in the UK which protects our rights. Now the time has come for us to stand up and protect the Human Rights Act in return.

Visit Amnesty UK’s website for more information about the Week of Action on Human Rights 2021.

How can I get involved?

If you want to join this campaign by speaking to your MP, you can email Amnesty UK on [email protected]. You will need to tell them who your local MP is – if you don’t know who this is, you can enter your postcode here to find out - https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP

Amnesty UK can help link you up with others in your area and provide template text for contacting your MP as well as a full briefing closer to the time.

On the run up to the Week of Action, there will be a range of free online workshops where you can learn more about these new laws, how human rights are protected in the UK, and get tips on activism and campaigning. Knowledge is power and the more we know about our human rights, the more effectively we will be able to campaign to protect them.

  • Supporting our Human Rights Act: What you need to know with the British Institute of Human Rights. Monday 6th September 6-7.30pm. This workshop will have closed captioning. Click here to register.
  • Craftivism with Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective. Monday 13th September, 6-7.30pm. Click here to register.
  • Top tips to influence your MP and engage local media. Monday 27 September, 6 - 7.30pm. Click here to register.
  • Stop the Rights Raid: Ask the experts. Monday 4 October, 6 - 7.30pm. Click here to register.

BIHR hosted a webinar on Monday 6 September to help people prepare for the Week of Action. We talked all about the Human Rights Act, how it works, how our rights are at risk right now, and how we can take action to protect our rights. You can watch this webinar here:



Apart from the week of action, what work is BIHR doing to protect the Human Rights Act? 

At BIHR, we see the value of the Human Rights Act every day in our work with people accessing services, community and advocacy groups and staff working in public services. The Human Rights Act is, in its current form, an incredibly powerful tool which has the power to create a culture of respect for human rights in the UK. Since the passing of the Human Rights Act, for over 20 years, we at BIHR have been supporting the operationalisation of the Act with rights holders and duty bearers. Our experience shows us that there is still a long way to go until a culture of respect for human rights becomes a reality for all of us, here in the UK.

Our Human Rights Officers, Annie and Natalie, have written a blog about their progress influencing their MP for the Week of Action, with plenty of tips and tricks if you want to get involved! Read it here.

Where can I find more information?

Below you can find lots of resources about the various changes to the law being proposed. Some of these resources are from BIHR and some are from elsewhere. We will update this list as more resources are published.

About the Week of Action on Human Rights 2021

About the Human Rights Act

About the Judicial Review and Courts Bill

About the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

About the Nationality and Borders Bill